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Thursday, September 06, 2001

SEA Games - Vietnam to host 2003 Games

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) - Sports-crazy Vietnam are waiting eagerly to host the 22nd SEA Games in 2003, the first ever by the country since the inception of the biennial games in 1959.

"The people are waiting. It has been held many, many times but not once in you should know how excited we are," said Minh Hung, the deputy president of the Ho Chi Minh City Sportswriters Club.

Minh, who is here to cover the 21st SEA Games, said peace and stability, the growing economy and strong government were the main reasons why the country and its people were looking forward to the Games.

He said Vietnam, who are sending 407 athletes, were using the Kuala Lumpur Games as a stepping stone to prepare a formidable team for the 2003 Games.

To meet the growing demand for sports news in Vietnam, about 80 print journalists from the country are coming here to cover the Games, their biggest ever media contingent for an overseas assignment.

The 10-day Games will officially open on Saturday but football kicked off a week early.

He said there are about 20 daily and weekly newspapers in Vietnam as well as three television stations, with some of them providing sports news alone.

Minh, a journalist for 20 years who is covering his fifth SEA Games, said his newspaper company, Saigon Giai Phong, is producing a special SEA Games edition daily from Sept 1 to 18.

"People are very much interested in sports, especially football. In fact, if Vietnam wins a tournament, there will huge celebrations and these often end in tragedy due to road accidents," he said.

Minh said the country's national television station would be carrying 14 SEA Games football matches live, including the women's event.

Asked on the preparations by the KL SEA Games Organising Committee, Minh said he was impressed with the facilities available here, especially for the media.

"The Internet facilities are really good. Hopefully, we will have the same in 2003. It's a learning process for all of us...I am working and learning at the same time," he said.


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Wednesday, September 05, 2001

SEA Games Football - Vietnam too strong for Brunei

By Abdul Khalik Saifulrijal

Brunei Darussalam's hopes of progressing past the qualifying stages of the 21st SEA Games football competition were completely diminished when they lost 5-1 against Vietnam, the goal medal hopeful and runners-up in the 1999 Brunei SEA Games football competition last night.

Brunei started without influential skipper, Md Subhi Abdillah and striker, Riwandi Wahit who was suspended for the game after being sent off in the match against Malaysia.

The dismal defensive showing against Malaysia continued in last night's match although the Bruneians were determined to put up a fight.

Vietnam scored first in the 9th minute after Thack Bao Khanh found himself with space on the left side of Brunei's goalmouth before slamming the ball past Brunei's goalkeeper, Md Wardun Yusof.

The Vietnamese came agonisingly close to scoring their second a minute later when a shot from a Vietnamese player hit the post.

After the early setback, Brunei managed to equalise in the 25th minute and gave them a glimmer of hope when Jasriman Hj Johari's shot looped over Vietnamese goalkeeper, Nguyen The Anh.

However, Vietnam seemed destined to increase their lead and squandered several chances in front of goal with Nguyen Min Nghin being the biggest culprit after he scooped his shot over the goal with only the goalkeeper at his mercy.

Brunei paid the price for slack marking when To Duc Cuong had a free header attempt on goal giving the Vietnamese a 2-1 lead in the dying seconds of the first half.

Brunei started off the second half looking to erase the deficit, but it was Vietnam's To Duc Cuong who added to Brunei's woes with his side's third goal and his second for the match in the 52nd minute after he outran his marker and finished sharply from an angle.

Vietnam added a fourth goal a few minutes later in somewhat similar fashion to their third when Nguyen Minh Nghia ran through a static Brunei defence and finished coolly past Md. Wardun.

Even the introduction of Md Subhi Abdillah late in the game to beef up the midfield could not pay off, as Brunei could not break through the resolute Vietnamese defence.

Vietnam completed the rout in the 63rd minute after Nguyen Quoc Truong ran deep from midfield to volley in the ball after receiving a cross from the left wing making it 5-1.

Brunei could have scored a face-saving goal in the dying seconds of the match. However Rosmin Hj Khamis's shot sailed harmlessly over the bar.

Brunei's next match against Indonesia next Tuesday may just be a consolation game but nevertheless it is an opportunity for them to regain some of their pride and confidence.

In order to do so, they must first rectify their indifferent defending.

Irrespective of the conclusion of the forthcoming game, it may provide the exposure required for Brunei to excel in international football.

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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SEA Games - 3 M'sian athletes tested for drugs

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Three Malaysian athletes were tested for drugs after a tip-off that they had taken performance-enhancing substances ahead of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, a report said Tuesday.

The Malaysian Association for Doping Control in Sports did not disclose the names of the athletes but said results would be released by the end of the week, the Malay Mail reported.

The surprise tests were conducted last Thursday to ensure that the Malaysian contingent for the games was scandal free, the paper said. During the 1989 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, a Malaysian athlete was stripped of his gold medal in the 110 metres hurdles event after testing positive for drugs.

Malaysia will play host to some 4,500 athletes from the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) at the 21st SEA Games from September 8-17.

Asean groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Source: AFP

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SEA Games - Joscelin Yeo set to dominate

KUALA LUMPUR - Singapore's Joscelin Yeo, reigning queen of the SEA Games pool, is set to dominate the swimming competition of this year's Games to be held from Sept 9 to 16 at the National Aquatics Centre in Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur, according to a Bernama report.

The 22-year old US-based swimmer, who reaped in six gold medals in Brunei two years ago, is in excellent form, having bettered her personal best time in the 50m freestyle at the recent Philips 66 US National championships in California.

Joscelin, eyeing for five gold medals in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, touched the finishing plate in 26.21 seconds, obliterating her previous record of 26.23 set in Brunei SEA Games.

The championship, a litmus test of her current form, showed that she has lost none of the speed that made her the most outstanding swimmer in the previous games, thus giving an early signal to her arch rival Thailand's Pilin Tchakittiranan that the Singaporean star is still a force to be reckoned with in the swimming arena.

Joscelin, one of the Singapore's most prolific SEA Games winners, is down to compete in five events -50m, 100m and 200m freestyle, 100m butterfly and the 200m individual medley, short of three events from the previous games in Brunei.

Her terrific form of late must have been a good news for the Singapore Amateur Swimming Association which expect another good outing for its swimming team.

Its planning and administrative manager Kenneth Chan was quoted as saying recently that the three time Singapore's sportswoman of the year was keeping well and in good shape.

For now, Pilin is still a class over the other South East Asian swimmers in her favoured events -- 400m and 800m freestyle but the Thai lass has to produce a perfect race to frustrate Joscelin's quest for gold in the 200m freestyle.

Her other possible challengers are Singapore's Christel Bouvron and Malaysia's fast rising star Sia Wai Yen.

Pilin's compatriot and backstroke specialist Chonlathorn Vorathamrong is poised to retain her title -- the 100m and 200m events while the 17-year old Wai Yen is set to end Malaysia's 11-year gold drought in the 400m individual medley. Malaysia has last won the event through Nurul Huda Abdullah in the 1989 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

In the absence of Joscelin, winner of the middle distance race in Brunei SEA Games, silver medallist Wai Yen will have an easy passage to deliver the goods for the host country.

Based on previous records, Thailand female relay team are a hard nut to crack in the 4x100 medley, 4x100 freestyle and 4x200 freestyle but Singapore's Joscelin anchored team and Indonesia are capable of springing surprises in the pool.

Unlike the women's category, the race for the men's is wide open with Malaysia having the upper hand. Malaysia's swimming ace -- Elvin Chia, Lim Keng Liat, Anthony Ang, Dieung Anak Manggang are all gold medallists in their respective events in Brunei.

Barring any upset, the Sabahan's duo Elvin and Keng Liat are on course to winning their respective pet events - 100m, 200m breaststroke and backstroke for the second time running.

The 21-year old Keng Liat, Asian Games gold medallist in the 100m backstroke, is also a gold medal hopeful for the 200m butterfly, a traditionally Anthony's forte.

Against the odds, Keng Liat pulled off a great upset to win his only gold medal on the final day of the 1997 SEA Games in Jakarta

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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Tuesday, September 04, 2001

VBL Invitational Cup - Persija keep title

By Benny Ang

Gendut Cristiawan became the extra-time hero for Persija as his goal in the 115th minute gave his side a 2-1 win over Thailand's Bec-Tero Sasana in the final of the Visit Brunei League Champions Invitational Cup 2001 last night at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The goal brought about incredible scenes of celebration from the Indonesian fans as well as a successful title defence for the Indonesians who also won the tournament last year.

They had to come from behind too as it was BTS that took the lead in the first half although both sides had done equally well during that frantic first period.

The Bec-Tero keeper Nipon Malanont had to be alert to divert a blaster from Antonio Jesus midway through the first half while the Thai champions themselves were able to create some chances at the other end too.

With both teams trying to gain the upper hand, BTS were able to steal a goal in the 35th minute when a careless passage of play from the Indonesians deep in opposition territory gifted Jatupong Thongsukh the ball.

The BTS captain wasted no time in rushing the ball up field for a three-on-three attack at which point he released a perfectly-timed through ball for Sathanu Uthaisri to race in on goal.

Uthaisri took his chance well as he gathered himself before firing a low grounder past the Persija custodian Mamboulou Jean.

As defending champions, Persija were in no mood to let the crown slip from the grasp without a fight as they mounted siege on the Thai goal in the second half.

It took a magnificent reflex save with his legs from Malanont to deny Mohamdau Bako in the 50th minute while Gendut Cristiawan spurned a great chance himself in the 62nd minute when he headed over after being in the clear.

But with the pressure, the inevitable equaliser soon came in the 71st minute as Bako was the fastest to react to a header that had cannoned off the bar, the import blasting home his effort from inside the penalty area.

Spurred on by the raucous Indonesian crowd, Persija went in search of the winner but it was the Thais that came across the next good opportunity in the 74th minute.

Their midfielder Srayut Rupngam somehow squeezed his way past the defenders only to see his shot ably denied by Mamboulou in the Persija goal.

Mamboulou was again called on to perform his duties in the 80th minute when the BTS import striker William Segalla muscled his way in on goal, the Persija keeper saving bravely at Segalla's feet.

From the resulting corner, another BTS import Adebays Abadebd sent a powerful header that was destined for the back of the net but was denied by a goal line clearance from a Persija defender.

Excitement was reaching fever pitch at the stadium now but with both sides unable to break through despite a last-minute shot from Bako just narrowly missing over the bar, the game headed into sudden death extra time.

With both sides tiring though, the extra period failed to generate the same excitement that was so apparent in normal time.

Persija's goal scorer Bako was proving to be a handful still and he so nearly won it for his side in the last minute of the extra time first period as hit the post on the turn much to the relief of the Thai side.

But it would prove to be nothing but temporary relief after Cristiawan's timely intervention late into the match brought a successful title defence to the Indonesian stable.

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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Kayak - Gold for Brunei kayakers

By K Jafni H Ali

Bruneian Ariffin Hj Zainal rowed to a gold medal in the singles event and later partnered Saini Hj Hamit to snatch another gold medal in the doubles event at the Sarawak Regatta Championship in Kuching on August 31.

The regatta was held to commemorate Malaysia's 44th Independence Day at the Sungai Sarawak.

Ariffin and Saini were the toast of Brunei as they beat more established paddlers from Sabah, Royal Malaysian Police Force, Kuala Lumpur and Sarawak.

The Brunei Darussalam Canoe Association will be sending six paddlers to the South East Asia Canoeing Championship in Kuala Lumpur from November 10-15.

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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Monday, September 03, 2001

Football - Brunei's nightmare in KL

By Abdul Khalik Saifulrijal

The Brunei Darussalam football team started their SEA Games campaign with a 5-0 loss against host country, Malaysia in a fast-paced and somewhat ill tempered game last night. During the match, it seemed Brunei had no answer to Malaysia's better-prepared and well-organised offensive rapiers.

From the start off the game, the Malaysian players, urged on by a partisan crowd, seemed determined to stamp their mark on the game with their robust challenges and roughhouse approach. The Bruneian players seemed to come into the game slowly in particular the defence which was noticeably shaky.

It did not take long for tempers to boil over as both Riwandi Wahit and Malaysia's Md Shukor Adan were given their marching orders in the 29th minute for their part in a 'free-for-all' which erupted after a reckless and unnecessary challenge by Malaysian midfielder Abd Aziz Ismail on Brunei's Idris Lupat which astonishingly went unpunished.

Malaysia opened their account when Indra Putra Mahayuddin scored his side's first goal in the 37th minute after a cross from the right flank was not cleared by the Bruneian defence leaving an unmarked Indra to slot the ball home.

The home side's second goal came in the 43rd minute of the first half when French based, Akmal Rizal scored after the Bruneian defence was caught napping.

It was Akmal again who headed in Malaysia's third goal during the extra-time period of the first half although he seemed to be in an offside position.

Bruneian attacks, blunted by Riwandi's dismissal and several inaccurate passes, were few and far between as they struggled to attempt shots on goal in the first-half. This pattern continued into the second half of the match.

The team, spurred on by captain, Md Subhi Abdillah, tried their best to come back into the game by packing the midfield although their attempts were thwarted by Malaysia's physically imposing defenders.

Akmal Rizal completed his hattrick and scored his team's fourth in the 60th minute of play after skipping past two Bruneian defenders brilliantly before applying a clinical finish, truly a contender for goal of the competition.

The rout was completed when Malaysia was awarded a penalty in the 82nd min after a foul by Md Halimi Abu Bakar on a Malaysian player in the penalty box. Md Nizaruddin Yusuf stepped up to convert the penalty sending Brunei's custodian, Md Wardun Yusof the wrong way.

Brunei are now left to pick up the pieces and they have to do so swiftly as they face the unenviable task of meeting SEA football giants Vietnam on the 4th and Indonesia on the 11th respectively for their remaining games.

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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Football - Malaysia trashed Brunei in SEA Games

By Vijesh Rai

KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYSIA got the desired win in their opening Sea Games Group B match against Brunei but the means by which they obtained the start they desperately wanted would have drawn mixed reactions from even the most hardcore of fans at the MPPJ Stadium last night.

While Malaysia were by far the better side, they showed an ugly side in the 5-0 win might cost them dearly in the coming matches against Indonesia and Vietnam.

Malaysia, frustrated by their inability to, thanks mainly to their lack of ideas in front of goal, breached the Brunei defence in the first 35th minute, paid a heavy price as midfielder Shukor Adan was sent off following an altercation in the 26th.

While it looked like referee A.G.C. Deshapriya of Sri Lanka had lost the plot in sending off Shukor and Bruneiís Riwandi Wahit when it was Malaysiaís Aziz Ismail and Ideris Lupat who had traded punches, there was no reason for the national side to behave the way they did.

But having opened with a win, courtesy of a Akmal Rizal Rakhli hat-trick and the other by Indra Putra Mahayuddin, Malaysia have to build on this and keep their composure in check if they want to advance to the semifinals and beyond.

Last night, they showed a distinct lack of composure for a good 36 minutes and only after Indra was gifted the opening goal by the Brunei defence in the 37th did Malaysia show the form that had won them many fans.

Striker Akmal, also a recipient of a yellow card after retaliating to a challenge in the 31st, scored the second in the 44th when he tapped home a cross from Indra.

And then, deep in the first half stoppage time, Akmal nodded home a cross from Irwan Fadzli Idrus to give Malaysia a lead that had looked very unlikely just some 15 minutes before.

But the 3,000 odd fans had to wait till the 70th minute for Malaysiaís goal and it was, to Akmalís credit, a great effort. Collecting the ball just inside the Brunei half, Akmal went a some 40-metre run that saw him beating several markers before slotting home to notch a hattrick.

Nizaruddin Yusof then converted a penalty in the 84th after K. Rajan was brought down by Mohamed Halimi and that settled it for Malaysia and they now have six days to rectify things before the real battle starts against first Indonesia on Sept 9, and then Vietnam on Sept 11.

Source: New Straits Times

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Friday, August 31, 2001

M-Cup - Sabah in easy group

By Catherine Ong

KOTA KINABALU - Despite been drawn in a relatively easy Group D for the Malaysia Cup, Sabah is not taking things for granted. The main challenge would definitely come from Premier I champions Penang.

But coach Ken Worden said Sabah should not be lulled into complacency just because the other two teams in the group are Perlis and Kedah JKR.

"They may be fledglings and we may count them as pushovers, but in my books, no team is 100 per cent dead meat. Out there on the field, what is said in the papers does not matter," he said yesterday.

Commenting on the draw made in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday night, Worden said:

"As far as I am concerned, we will take each match as it comes. We need at least 12 points (or four wins) to have any chance of qualifying for the quarterfinals.

"To me it will not be easy. It will be hard on the boys as well, but I have every confidence that if the players put their minds to it, they can achieve the target of making it to the next round".

Sabah finished second in premier II missing out on the title after they were held to a scoreless draw by Kedah JKR in their final match when they needed a three-goal victory.

Premier One champions Penang have been drawn into an easy group in the Malaysia Cup competition and should have no problems qualifying for the quarterfinals. They should top Group D and, in fact, are tipped to make it all the way to the final.

Defending Malaysia Cup champions Perak will face an east coast onslaught as they have been drawn in Group C with Kelantan TNB, Kelantan JKR and Terengganu. On paper, Perak and Terengganu are the favourites in the group.

Group B looks the mostly evenly matched with Sarawak, Kelantan, Pahang and NS Chempaka in the fray.

Group A is also tough with Selangor battling it out with last year's Malaysia Cup runners-up Negeri Sembilan, Premier Two champions Johor FC and Kuala Lumpur for the two quarterfinal berths.

The 16-team competition will kick off on Sept 18 and the final will be played on Nov 3. Sabah's first match is against Perlis in an away encounter.

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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SEA Games - Two Sabah athletes to see action

By Catherine Ong

KOTA KINABALU - The Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU) after its final qualifying round, the MAAU Open Championship in July, has named only two Sabah athletes to see action in the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur next month.

Veteran Soo Chong Peng and Josephine Marie Job got the nod after having qualified in their respective events in the MAAU Open to earn their berths in the national contingent, while middle distance runner Radius Sakir failed to make the cut.

Soo, a mother of three is set to don national colours in the 400m and the 4x400m relay and Josephine in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.

When contacted, Sabah Amateur Athletics Association (SAAA) Secretary Francis said both athletes gave good accounts of themselves to impress the national selectors.

"We are very proud of them after confirming their berths in the national team and hope they are able to shine and contribute towards Malaysia's quest for medals in the Games," he said on behalf of SAAA.

He said in the recent MAAU Open, the top 400m runner Nik Nor Azura of Terengganu did not run in the event, which saw Carol Lucia of Perak grabbing the gold medal and leaving Soo with the silver.

MAAU has also decided for Soo to concentrate fully in the 400m and the 4x400m relay events, and Azura in the 200m, 4x400m and 4x100m relay events along with Josephine, who is the national number two to carol in the 100m and 200m sprints.

In the 400m event, Soo came in close second to Norashieelah Khalid of Selangor, whom MAAU has decided for her to fully concentrate in the 400m hurdle instead.

Apart from the two athletes, SAAA is also happy to note that one of Sabah's coaches Sulaiman Arman has been named as personal coach for hammer thrower in Wong Tee Kui's for the Sea Games.

Sulaiman, who reported for national duty in May, has been assigned to train Tee Kui for the Games and apart from that MAAU has also picked him to attend his Level Two (throw) coaching certificate in Jakarta from Oct 14-27.

Meanwhile, Francis wish to remind all athletes vying berths for the State 2002 Sukma team to take note of its 2001 final selection trials, scheduled to be held from Sept 20-21.

He added, SAAA will inform them including all coaches after they have decided on the venue, that is either at the Penampang Stadium or the UMS track as the Likas Stadium running track is being replaced by a brand new rubberised track.

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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